Being Aware of the Present to be better in the Future


Many in the modern world find themselves constantly on the go, always busy in both work and home life without any intention of stopping. Ease of communication brought about by phones and the internet means that we get our information instantly, leaving the busy bodied of us with no time to rest. However, with this, we see common problems like stress and anxiety greatly affecting people. When we don't take a few minutes to breathe and allow our minds to constantly wander we lose track of the present moment, which can at times lead to poor judgment on the present situation. There is a solution to this, mindfulness.

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment. Being mindful would involve taking a brief pause from everything and simply observing the present moment from a spectator's lens. A common way of doing this is through meditation because during meditation you are solely to be in your own head. Through this many are capable of being more introspective and aware of the present moment, this is the basis of what mindfulness is. It could be suggested that mindfulness has five steps: setting aside some time, observing the present moment as it is, letting your judgments roll by, going back to observing the present and not worrying about a wandering mind, but simply observing it. This can be done in long or short amounts of time, but all that matters is that you stop and take a moment before acting.

What Benefits Could Mindfulness Bring?

Insight is one of the best things gained through being mindful, which can also lead to better judgment, a better understanding of the self and a better understanding of any given situation. Mindfulness and meditation can also lead someone to live a more satisfying life due to a greater appreciation of the present moment. There is also some evidence that would suggest that mindfulness betters mental health. As a whole, mindfulness is the process that allows an individual to be more aware of the present in order to see themselves better off in the future, and everyone could benefit from using it.

By the way, if you need any support regarding you as an individual or with your relationship, feel free to contact us today to learn how we can help.

6 Guidelines for Healthy Relationships


 Relationships have always been hard. With the advent of social media, it can at times feel like it's only getting worse. The good news is that you possess the tools to maintaining a healthy and functioning relationship. Using the Guidelines below when interacting with people close to you (be it platonic, familial, or romantic), you can make a good relationship better.

Keep your Secrets - You have your secrets, it's no shame. It's important to remember that everyone else has them too. Learn to respect them,  both in yourself and others, and to expect the same from anyone else. Privacy is precious and our right. Approaching your domestic partnership with this understanding will help lay the groundwork for personal independence and mutual respect. 

Deal Breakers - Know what your deal breakers are. Everyone has those things that simply can't be tolerated within a relationship. Figure out yours, and don't make exceptions. This can sound harsh, but these issues (minor as they might seem in the beginning) tend to compound over time. If there is something that feels morally compromising to you, then leave it behind. 

Goals  -   Like with secrets, we all also have goals in life. Keep that in mind when you bring someone in. Within the confines of a healthy relationship, by practicing respect of each others goals fosters trust and support as a whole. 

Communication -  This one may in fact be the most important thing to think of as a whole. Communicating with honesty and accountability is a must. This means admitting when you're wrong, and being open and truthful even when it's hard to do. 

Negotiate, not compromise -  Compromise means people aren't getting what they want. Negotiation means people come to terms with how to get what they want. When you Compromise, you are willing to accept standards lower than your desires. Negotiation lets you keep your standards, while coming to mutual agreement on how you get them. It can be very tempting to give a little, but doing so risks building resentment down the road. 

Avoiding Over statement - As Andrea Brandt Ph.D. states here, you shouldn't use "You always/You never" statements. They're rarely accurate, and only serve to undermine the efforts of the person they are being used on. It tells them they are permanently wrong in your eyes and shows no sign of improvement. It can also lead to heated escalation which is never where you want to be. Taking the moment to put thought into your words can save an awful lot of heartache.

These are all just some ways to prepare yourself for a healthy relationship, though they are by no means the only things to consider. Many of the concepts above are touched upon by the Equality wheel (created by the DAIP), which can be found here. Every relationship is unique, and will require its own understanding by everyone involved. Keep your ears open, your heart in check, and your principles up front. 

By the way, if you need any support regarding you as an individual or with your relationship, feel free to contact us today to learn how we can help.

Depression: When Your Brain Fights Against You


Clinical depression is a mental health disorder characterized chiefly by persistent periods of low mood and loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities. The leading cause of disability in the USA, Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) affects more than 6.1% of adults alone.

Causes of Depression

Depression is a complex disorder that is not merely summed up as just being a "chemical issue". Each individual diagnosed with depression or displaying depressive symptoms has experienced life differently from one another. This difference often stimulates vast change in both the affect and overall inner turmoil brought upon by this disorder.

Development of depression can be heavily influenced by both genetics and environment. The odds of being born with or gradually developing depression increase if an individual has, for example, a close, depressed family member. Experiencing hardship and significant stress can also cause low moods, erratic sleep, and lethargy within people; in other words, cause them to exhibit some symptoms of depression.

Our increasingly competitive, online life can easily affect how people see themselves. For example, a study based on interviews with over 11,000 British 11-year-olds has recently linked higher social media usage in girls with higher depressive symptoms.

Brain composition and dysfunction, neurotransmitter imbalance, underlying comorbid conditions, temperament, stress, early childhood trauma, as well as limited exposure to daylight have been linked closely to depression.

Treatments of Depression

Through years of research and experimentation, several forms of treatment have since become available to alleviate symptoms of depression. It is highly recommended that patients suffering from depression seek out help from a mental health professional near them for support and discussion of methods to improve their quality of life. Patient treatment is a highly individualized endeavor that must be guided by the right professional, for their safety and transition to mental betterment.

Forms of psychotherapy, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), have shown great strides in enabling depressed individuals to create new ways to overcome the often disabling struggles brought upon by depression. Through goal-setting, talk, and healthful coping strategy formulation. depressed patients are taught effective methods of challenging negative thinking patterns.

Many patients are given the option to begin medication, guided by either a general practitioner or psychiatrist. Depression medication can take about 2-4 weeks to begin working, and several others to see some level of improvement. Due to the uniqueness of body chemistry, what works for one patient might not work for another; this, unfortunately, can mean patients must try different medications to find their right match. However, according to a recent study performed on the overall efficacy of anti-depressants, this negative outlook can become colored with positivity.

Other possible treatments include psychoeducation, support groups (such as this Depression Subreddit), brain stimulation therapies, along with supplementary exercise and diet management.

By the way, you can also contact us for any support regarding you as an individual or with your relationship, feel free to contact us today to learn how we can help.